Important Equations

Electric potential energy

U = Potential Energy

k  = coulomb contant

k  = 9 x 10^9  N (m/C)^2

r = Distance between the two    charges

Q = Charge one

q = Charge two Electric potential

V = Electric potential

r = distance to charge to point charge

k = coulomb's constant

k  = 9 x 10^9  N (m/C)^2

Q = charge Electric potential energy

V = voltage

U = Electric potential

q = Charge

U = Vq

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What is Electrostatic Potential Energy?

What is Electrostatic Potential Energy

Potential energy can be defined as the capacity for doing work which arises from position or configuration. In the electrical case, a charge will exert a force on any other charge and potential energy arises from any collection of charges. For example, if a positive charge Q is fixed at some point in space, any other positive charge which is brought close to it will experience a repulsive force and will therefore have potential energy.

What is Electric (or Electrostatic) Potential?

Electric Potential plays the same role for charge that pressure does for fluids. If there is a pressure difference between two ends of a pipe filled with fluid, the fluid will flow from the high pressure end towards the lower pressure end. Charges respond to differences in potential in a similar way.

Electric potential is a measure of the potential energy per unit charge. If you know the potential at a point, and you then place a charge at that point, the potential energy associated with that charge in that potential is simply the charge multiplied by the potential. Electric potential, like potential energy, is a scalar, not a vector.

Alternative Definition

Electric potential is a representation of the electric potential energy per unit charge. If a unit of electrical charge were placed in a location, the potential indicates the potential energy of it at that point. In other words, it is a measurement of the energy contained within an electric field, or an electric circuit, at a given point.

Potential is a scalar quantity. The SI unit of voltage is the volt, such that 1 volt = 1 joule/coulomb.